Sunday, December 29, 2013

First Review and Be Thankful

In these last few days before we jump headlong into 2014, I'm considering my goals for the year. I know, those good ol' resolutions often fall by the wayside before the month of January even winds down. But, before putting pen to paper to list a few goals I will try to keep, I first take a little review.

For the last couple of years I have done this and find it to be a blessing to count my blessings. I take a little stroll back through the past year to see what God has done in and through me. With pad and pen in hand, I sit down and actually list things I'm thankful for. I am always surprised as I start this process to find that I can fill more than one page.

Let me encourage you to do this little activity. Take a moment alone with the Lord. Ask Him to help you to recall your blessings from this year. Write each one down. Then, reread the list.

You can do this in different areas of your life - personal, occupational, spiritual.

When I made my list for my writing ministry this year, I was floored by what God had done through me. Here's just a sampling:
Co-authored a book and made some lifelong friends
Saw Be The Blessing release
Saw Brave New Century contracted
Brave New Century released and making Amazon's Top 100 Bestsellers in religious historical fiction
Saw Legacy and Love contracted
Invited to join the faculty at Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference
Came on board with Prism Book Group as an acquisitions editor

And, that's just the first half of the first page.

This exercise forces me to stop and recall all of the blessings. After listing them, I write a prayer to God, thanking Him for blessing me. Only then do I proceed to ask Him what goals He would want for me for the coming year. After writing those down, I write another prayer, asking God to help me to do what He would have me to do. I rededicate that area to Him and His guidance.

So, you see, it's not your normal resolution-writing session. The looking back lets me know just what I can do when I let God work through me and lead me. That encourages a different sort of goal-setting.

Remember Proverbs 16:1-3
"Mortals make elaborate plans, but God has the last word. Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good; God probes for what is good. Put God in charge of your work, then what you've planned will take place."

I pray God will do some wonderful things through us this year. Take time to thank Him for what He has done, and then put Him in charge.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Joining the Ranks of Humanity

Take a moment to read and reflect on this excerpt from Sarah Young's Jesus Calling:

"When I joined the ranks of humanity, born into the humblest conditions, My Glory was hidden from all but a few people. Occasionally, streaks of Glory shone out of Me, especially when I began to do miracles. Toward the end of My life, I was taunted and tempted to display more of My awesome Power than My Father's plan permitted. I could have called down legions of angels to rescue Me at any point. Imagine the self-control required of a martyr who could free Himself at will! All of this was necessary to provide the relationship with Me that you now enjoy. Let your life become a praise song to Me by proclaiming My glorious Presence in the world."

The humility and restraint of Jesus Christ on my behalf is mind-blowing. To think that He was born in a dirty barn with a feed trough for a bed. To think of His resistance to display His power. To think He denied his very deity for a relationship with mankind.

In light of what Christ has done for us, we should not hesitate to let our lives become a praise song to Him. This Christmas let's make sure people know that Jesus is present and available for those who will trust in Him. In light of all He endured for us, we can surely risk embarrassment or being politically incorrect to share about Jesus.

Choose you this day whom you will serve - whether public opinion or what is popular or acceptable - but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Have a merry Christ-filled Christmas! Never forget the Love that came down on that first Christmas.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Diann Hunt

Several authors who are members of American Christian Fiction Writers decided to declare this Diann Hunt Day.

Diann Hunt's titles are many and even award winning. You may have read some of them. Everything about her testified to her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. What a goal to aspire to!

As many of you know Diann recently went on to heaven after a well-fought battle with ovarian cancer. Isn't it encouraging to know, however, as Christians we are only separated for a season. That's the hope we have that death isn't the end.

I only knew Diann through ACFW interaction and her books, but I know she heard: "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

Please check out her website and blog for more about Diann in her own words.

Thank You, Lord, for Diann's life and testimony.

http://diannhunt.com/


Monday, December 9, 2013

My Little Black Book

At this time of year, I always tend to think back over what I have accomplished. Specifically, for me, I like to look back and see what I have done in my writing ministry. But, do you know that I forget many things if I don't write them down? Relying only on my brain to remember what goals I can check off isn't quite efficient enough.

I also find that in those down times when I feel like I'm spinning my wheels or in those rejection moments, I can find a pick-me-up just by reading through what God has done through me.

So, what's a person to do to keep up with these accomplishments? I employ the use of a little black book. No, I don't keep addresses there. This is a lined blank journal in which I can record my thoughts.

First, I place the date at the top of a page. I label this first page: Updates. I list everything I can think of that I have done in regards to my writing since my last session of recording. I refer to my goals from the last session to see if any of those can be placed in the Updates section. Second, I label another page: Goals. I then proceed to list the goals for my writing for that next month or so.

After entering updates and goals, I put the book aside for a month or maybe even two. When I return the next time, I do the same as before.

When I need to feel encouraged or like I have accomplished something in my writing, I will pick that little black book up and start reading. It still surprises me to look through the entries, seeing what God has done.

Let me give you an example:

Updates
Finished edits on The Prayer Shawl
Submitted proposal to teach at a writing conference

Goals
Submit The Prayer Shawl for publication
Finish edits for first contracted author

The next few months after that when I returned to my book, I was able to write this:

Updates
Got contract for The Prayer Shawl
Set release date for first contracted author

Then, I proceeded to list the next goals.

This is a simple way to evaluate where you are and where you want to go as well as motivation to continue when you can see progress.

Let me warn you about something. When I return to my little black book and read through, seeing all God has done through me, I am humbled. But, I tend to also have a little praise session.

Try employing the use of a little black book for several months for some motivation and encouragement. Let God show you how He is working in and through you!
  


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My Passion

In Rick Warren's book, The Purpose Driven Life, he states: "God wants to say something to the world through me." This is a point Warren gives for readers to ponder.

Earlier in that same chapter he says: "God gives us different passions so that everything he wants done in the world will get done."

Christian friend, consider for a moment that God - the God of the universe - wants to say something to the world through you. God desires for you to communicate to others about Him in your own unique way. The second quote hints at this. He has given all of us different passions - gifts and abilities that really spark us into action.

Personally, I feel that spark when I write Christian fiction to share with others the truths God instills in me through life experiences. This is the way God speaks through me.

This writing passion isn't for everyone. Notice the quote says that God gives us different passions. The world can't be reached through just one avenue. My passion will strike a chord with some, and your passion will strike a chord with others. Together, we reach the world and accomplish what God wants done.

It's so easy, especially during this time of year, to lose sight of what really matters. Only what is done for the Kingdom of God will last. Any other endeavors are futile and have no lasting value.

This Christmas season let's give God the gift of our availability, letting Him use us to speak to the world in our own unique way.

What passion has God given to you to share with the world?

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Psalm for Giving Thanks

Psalm 100
"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name."

My personal interpretation:
Don't hide your worship of the Lord by whispering it among those who already know. Let everyone see the joy you have in the Lord.

Don't drag into the church on Sunday with a bad attitude. Come in with his joy on your lips.

Don't try to tell God what you're going to do and expect Him to act in an advisory capacity. He is God - the I Am.

You didn't get where you are because of your own efforts. God created you, knowing exactly what He had in store for you. But, you have to acknowledge that He is the leader.

You should thank God and praise Him whenever you are in His presence. His presence is always near unless you move.

Don't forget that God deserves all of the thank-yous that can be mustered. You can never thank Him enough.

THANK YOU, GOD!



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Journey of Eleven Moons

Check out his story from author-friend, Bonnie Leon.


A successful walrus hunt means Anna and her beloved Kinauquak will soon be joined in marriage. But before they can seal their promise to one another, a tsunami wipes their tribe from the rugged shore—everyone except Anna and her little sister, Iya, who are left alone to face the Alaskan wilderness.

A stranger, a Civil War veteran with golden hair and blue eyes, wanders the untamed Aleutian Islands. He offers help, but can Anna trust him or his God? And if she doesn’t, how will she and Iya survive?



Bonnie Leon is the author of nineteen novels, including the recently released Joy Takes Flight, book three in the Alaskan Skies series and the popular Sydney Cover series published by Revell. 
She enjoys speaking for women’s groups and teaching at writing seminars and conventions. These days, her time is filled with writing, being a grandmother and relishing precious time with her aged mother.
Bonnie and her husband, Greg, live in Southern Oregon. They have three grown children and seven grandchildren.

This sounds like a great read. I'm always fascinated with stories set in Alaska. 

Readers, let's add this to our "to be read" list. 

Thanks, Bonnie, for giving us this little teaser. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

May We Never Forget

A song has been plaguing me, and I have been playing it over and over again in my car. It is sung by the Martins and called, May We Never Forget.

We passed Veterans Day, remembering the sacrifices of our military.

We are fast approaching Thanksgiving, trying to give thanks for our blessings.

We are leading into Christmas, sharing gifts.

In all this my thoughts came back to Someone's actions I take granted. Jesus was the ultimate freedom sacrifice.

God has blessed us with many things but none more important than His own Son.

Jesus was the ultimate Christmas gift. I too often forget that when Mary counted those little fingers and toes, God the Father knew ultimately what His Son was coming to do.

The stories become so familiar, I don't stop to truly think about the cost of the love that meant I could live.

Take a moment to listen to this song and never forget or take for granted what we have through Jesus.

May We Never Forget by The Martins

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Brave New Century Release


Brave New Century
Inspirational Historical Romance from Prism Book Group
Stories of four young women who are each braving challenges at the dawn of the 20th century in the big city. Will they overcome their hardships and find love?
Three Rings for Alice by Lisa Lickel
Love and respect in 1899 Milwaukee is as close as a phone call.
Forgiven by Paula Mowery
When Henry and Jessie meet it seems to be classic love at first sight until a shocking revelation tears them apart.
The Pocket Watch by Kathleen Rouser
Searching for the past an orphan and a young doctor find love for the future.
Flames of Hope by Teena Stewart
Love ignites in the midst of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.

More about Three Rings for Alice:
Our opening story, Three Rings For Alice, shows Alice Smith’s struggles to be a modern woman at the turn of the twentieth century in America. Orphaned, she must make her own way in an age when women are just coming into the workforce. Despite a proposal of marriage from a long time friend, she determines to marry for nothing less than love, even if her love is a voice over the telephone.


About the author: Lisa Lickel is a Wisconsin writer who lives in a hundred and sixty-year-old house built by a Great Lakes ship captain. A muti-published, best-selling and award-winning novelist, she also writes short stories and radio-theater, is an avid book reviewer, blogger, a freelance editor, and magazine editor. Visit LisaLickel.com.

More about Forgiven:
Henry Smith has little interest in the plans his parents have for him when it comes to his career and who he will marry. His world is turned upside-down when a shoot-out ends in fatalities. 
Jessie Lee Capelle and her sister strike out from the orphanage their father mysteriously abandoned them at to make a life for themselves. Shamed by her background, Jessie struggles with Henry's attention. 
Just as Henry and Jessie decide on a life together a shocking revelation could force them apart unless true forgiveness can be found. 


Paula Mowery is a published author, speaker, and acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group. Her articles have appeared in Woman's World, The Christian Online Magazine, and the multi-author devotional blog, Full Flavored Living. She reviews Christian fiction for several authors. She is a member of ACFW and on their author interview team. Paula is a pastor's wife who lives with her husband and daughter in East Tennessee.  Find her at www.paulamowery.blogspot.com or connect with her through her author page on Facebook.
More about The Pocket Watch:
Isabel Jones, an orphan, receives a ruby ring left by the mother she never knew and wants more than ever to find her roots. When a young physician, Daniel Harper, rescues her from an oncoming automobile and she finds his pocket watch in a puddle, her circumstances take a turn. She begins to consider what life outside the orphanage could be like. Daniel’s heart has been broken before and the attractive young lady who finds his treasured timepiece wouldn’t be deemed suitable by his social climbing parents.
When Isabel and Daniel work side by side, caring for the orphanage children during an influenza epidemic, she becomes gravely ill. Compelled to redeem the time by helping her find the past, Daniel finds a buried truth that creates an unbridgeable chasm between them. Where will they find hope in a hopeless situation?


About the author: Kathleen Rouser has loved making up stories since she was a little girl and wanted to be a writer before she could even read. The Pocket Watch is Kathleen’s debut novella. She has been published in Homeschool Digest and An Encouraging Word. She currently enjoys interviewing authors for the Novel PASTimes historical fiction blog. Her desire is to bring to life endearing characters who resonate with readers and realize the need for a transforming Savior in their everyday lives. She lives in southeast Michigan with her hero and husband of 31 years, Jack, who not only listens to her stories, but also cooks for her. Find her at: www.kathleenrouser.com, www.novelpastimes.com and https://www.facebook.com/kathleenerouser

More about Flames of Hope:
Young San Francisco police officer Gideon Light is smitten the moment he sees Lily McMinn rolling down the awnings on her father’s mercantile. Lovely, petite, and spunky, Lily had to grow up quickly after her mother passed away. She not only oversees the welfare of two younger siblings, she also helps run her father’s business.
Gideon and Lily are immediately attracted to each other and soon become good friends. It doesn’t take long before Lily realizes her feelings for Gideon have changed to something far deeper. He secretly harbors dreams of advancing in the force to earn a substantial enough income to make Lily his wife.
Before either has a chance to pursue each other, however, an earthquake of unthinkable magnitude shatters their world. With a raging fire fast in its wake, tragedy and triumph await as Gideon, Lily, and her family flee for their lives with little more than the clothes on their backs.
Set during the time of the great 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, this tale of great loss, incredible human courage, and sweet romance, will inspire and warm your heart.


About the author: Teena Stewart is a published author, an accomplished artist, and a ministry leader. In addition to Brave New Century, her recent published books include Mothers and Daughters: Mending a Strained Relationship and The Treasure Seeker: Finding Love and Value in the Arms of Your Loving Heavenly Father. Brave New Century represents Teena’s first fiction inclusion in a book. She and her husband Jeff are involved in “out-of-the-box” organic church ministry in Hickory, NC. For more info on Teena visit www.teenastewart.com



 Available in print or digital formats from online book distributors. 


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Book Teaser for Brave New Century

Thanks to Jacqui, we have a book teaser for our book due out this week. Take a look.

Brave New Century Teaser



Monday, November 4, 2013

What's Hindering Your Thankfulness?

Blogs and Facebook pages have suddenly become places to share what you're thankful for. I've enjoyed reading these posts which are leading us up to that one big thankful day, Thanksgiving.

However, do you sometimes struggle with being thankful? Or, do you have trouble hanging on to that grateful feeling?

Don't feel bad. God knew that we would struggle like this. Jesus spoke specifically about the things that might get us down, stealing our ability to be truly thankful.

In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus teaches us not to worry. Specifically, He says not to fret over food, drink, and clothing. At first thought, we might feel we're fine with these things, but when was the last time you groaned over your grocery bill because of its enormous jump in price? Have you ever chewed your fingernails over having to buy your child another pair of jeans because the last pair looks more like capris? Have you wrung your hands about the fact that you seem to have more month than money?

What was Jesus' answer for these worries? He reminds us that God provides for the birds of the air, and He will even more so provide for us.

Paul writes in Philippians 4:4-8, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."

Paul tells us in these verses to rejoice and not be anxious. Did you notice that we are to pray with an attitude of thanksgiving? We can pray with gratitude because God has promised He will take care of us. He will even replace those worried feelings with a peace that can't be explained. Paul even gives us a list of positive things to think on to ward off the negative talk.

So, how about it, Christian brother or sister? Let's get rid of what is hindering our thankfulness, so we can be truly thankful for all the Lord's blessings.

Let this encourage you!

Count Your Blessings


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Double Agent

Recently I've been confronted with this idea of being a "double agent" Christian. Is that even possible? I think of a double agent as one who has two identities. You know what I'm talking about, right? Maybe the person has an actual identity but must have an alternate one because of being a spy or working undercover. In movies and books, I've seen this person trick another person or even another country into thinking he or she is in their support when they actually are not.

Now, I'm sure in the world of spies and peace-keeping forces this might be called for. But, can I share with you that as a Christian, there is no place for a double agent.

A young friend of mine has been trying to witness to another friend. This unsaved friend has grown up in the church throughout her life. When asked why she hasn't made a decision for Jesus, her answer always reverts to the so-called Christians around her. She reports the things these Christians do that go against what she has learned to be proper behavior for a believer. Her reasoning is: "If they act like that, why do I need to be saved?"

Of course, we immediately throw out the argument that even we Christians are hypocrites. We can't be perfect. We still do things wrong - sin. Does this exonerate us from trying our best to live as Christ calls us to live? I say, no.

In my Bible reading for Saturday, Paul had this to say to Titus: "Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live." He goes on to say that these kind of Christians are disobedient.

God calls Christians to be what that name means - little Christs. We are to strive each day with everyone and in every place to be like Jesus. Is this hard? Yes. Will we flub? Yes.

There are no double agent Christians. Being a believer is someone you are not something you do. You can't just turn it off and on. God might use the term lukewarm to describe a double agent Christian - someone who acts like a Christian on Sunday but doesn't live it on Monday. That type of Christian makes God sick. Check out Revelation. A lukewarm Christian makes Christ want to vomit. Graphic? Yes. True? I'm afraid so.

The scariest part to this double agent Christian is that a person who needs to accept Christ might be blocked by the duplicity. How tragic to think that someone would not come to faith because of a Christian's bad example.

Oh, Christian brother and sister, let's examine our Christian walk and get rid of any double agent tendencies for the sake of our unsaved friends who are watching.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Happy Anniversary!

Today - October 21st - is my wedding anniversary. Twenty-four years together. As someone said to me yesterday at church - that doesn't happen very often these days, couples staying together.

When he proposed to me he said: "I can't promise big houses or fancy cars, but if we stick with God, it will be an adventure."

He was right. This pastor's wife can honestly say that it has been an adventure.

My hubby left me a card this morning. On the front it says: Another Year of sheer Bliss! On the inside it reads: You're Welcome! So like him. LOL

I love you! Twenty-four more years of bliss and adventure, here we come!



Thursday, October 17, 2013

Kids These Days!

Have you heard that spoken? Have you said it yourself? I will confess to having said this and amened it from someone else.

May I be honest? The undisciplined nature of many children these days, disturbs me. The lack of respect I see in children is unsettling.

Too often I hear parents say that they don't want to discipline their children because they want to be their friend. They argue that their children will hate them if they correct them. Now I will have to make another confession: I just rolled my eyes.

When did it become the responsibility of young children to rule the household? Who said that a parent could shirk their responsibility?

Do parents realize that children actually desire boundaries? To truly show care, a parent must guide and direct children through the use of discipline. I'm not advocating beating a child, but there are times when a pat on the bottom is all that will get attention. Time-out doesn't work with all children.

Working in the public school system, I see so much disrespect in children. I wonder what kind of adult that child will turn out to be without the proper training in respecting others and using self-control.

As Christian parents we have a responsibility to discipline our children and teach them self-control. We can't think this shows that we don't love our children - to the contrary.

"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in." Proverbs 3:11-12

Ephesians six commands that parents bring up their children in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Sadly, when we fail to do our job as parents, our children grow into adults that struggle in the workplace or in school. Having no training at home causes them to lack the self-discipline and respect required in the world.

The best way to show the love you have for your children is to raise them following the Lord's instructions. God commands us to train and discipline our offspring. It's hard at times, but God doesn't leave us alone. We have His promise that He is with us. We have His Word to instruct us and encourage us. We have prayer to lay out our struggles.

Your children are gifts from God, but they are also your responsibility. They need you to be the parent, not their friend. They are counting on your training to help them become well-rounded adults, ready for a Christ-like life.  

Monday, October 7, 2013

Clergy Appreciation Month

During September, our church read the book, I Am A Church Member, by Thom S. Rainer. Chapter Four is I Will Pray For My Church Leaders. In this section, Rainer gives an example of a typical day in the life of a pastor. I've had a couple of people approach me at church, telling me that they had no idea what all was involved in being a pastor.

Since this month is Clergy Appreciation Month, I want to outline here a few areas that Rainer says church members should pray for in regards to their pastor.

"A pastor's day is filled with mountaintops and valleys."

As a pastor's wife, I can attest to this. My hubby has been called to the hospital for an emergency, then had to rush back to do counseling he has set up for the day - which is normally more than one appointment. He will also have phone calls mixed into that as well as people who drop in.

"Serving and leading a church well expends all of a pastor's energy. He is on call every day and every hour. Because the demands are so great on him, the pastor often neglects his own health and well-being."

Pray for your pastor's health.

Pray for his sermons.

"It is an incredible task to speak and preach the Word of God every week again and again."

Pray for him and his family.

"Few families face the kinds of pressures and expectations as the families of pastors."

Pray for your pastor's protection.

"It means that the devil sees the pastor as a threat, and one of his highest priorities is to take him down and take him out."

These are hard days to be a pastor. It is a hard world to try to minister in.

Please, try to set a time each day to lift your pastor up in prayer. Let him know you are praying for him - maybe even ask if there is any specific prayer he would want you to pray for him. Let him know you appreciate him - compliment him. I can assure you, he hears the negative stuff but hardly ever gets the positive things.

I thank God that even with all of the demands, pastors are obediently answering the call everyday to minister to their flock. Thank you to all of the under-shepherds on God's ministry team.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Little Historical Fiction

Welcome Tamera Lynn Kraft!


Our Thought Life
In my Civil War novella, Soldier’s Heart, Noah Andrews returns home but struggles with the residual after effects of the war. While most of us will never go through an experience as horrific as war, everyone goes through hard times. We, like Noah, need to learn to take control of our thoughts if we want to overcome those tragedies.
2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Noah used scripture to help himself. There are many times I’ve had to do the same. That can be challenging, but here are a few scriptures we can meditate when going through difficult times. All verses are NKJV unless otherwise stated.
Grief: If we live long enough, we’ll all lose someone we love to death. But we can remember that death is not the end for a Christian. We will see our loved ones again.
John 14:1-4 Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
1 Corinthians 15:54-55 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written:Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?
John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
Offense: Offense comes to everyone, sometimes because people intend to offend us and sometimes by mistake. But we can’t dwell on that offense. We need to learn to forgive and give the offense to God.
Proverbs 19:11(NIV) A person’s wisdom yields patience;it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.
Matthew 6:14:15 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Tragedy and Trials: Tragedies come in life. Bad things sometimes happen to good people, but here’s some promises we can hold onto in the midst of tragedy.
Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Isaiah 43:1-2 Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.
Depression: Some people deal with medical depression and need medical treatment and counseling. But everyone goes through periods of depression and discouragement. Here’s some verses to remember during those times.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.






Back Cover Blurb:
After returning home from the Civil War, will his soldier’s heart come between them?
Noah Andrews, a soldier with the Ohio Seventh Regiment can’t wait to get home now that his three year enlistment is coming to an end. He plans to start a new life with his young wife. Molly was only sixteen when she married her hero husband. She prayed every day for him to return home safe and take over the burden of running a farm.
But they can’t keep the war from following Noah home. Can they build a life together when his soldier’s heart comes between them?
Soldier’s Heart is available in e-book from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Reader, and Barnes & Noble Nook. It will also be available in paperback in a couple of months.

Bio:
Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction because there are so many stories in history. Tamera has recently celebrated her thirty-fourth anniversary with her loving husband. She has two grown and married children and two grandchildren.
Tamera has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. She is also a writer and has curriculum published including Kid Konnection 5: Kids Entering the Presence of God published by Pathway Press. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.
You can contact Tamera online at these sites.
Word Sharpeners Blog: http://tameralynnkraft.com
Revival Fire For Kids Blog: http://revivalfire4kids.com
Adventures in American History: http://tameralynnkraft.blogspot.com


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Am I In His Will Or Mine?

Do you ever ask yourself that question? Every once in a while I have to test myself and my motives in this rat race called being an author. Am I right in the center of His will, or have I veered off onto my own course?

One way I check myself is to return to my original calling. When I began writing, I told God that I would write His messages even if it was meant to touch only one person. That means I can't get caught up in numbers. I've had people ask me how many books I've sold. Honestly, I can't say with any kind of accuracy. I think that's a good thing. If I make my writing ministry about the bottom line, I think my message will suffer.

Another way I personally check myself is to evaluate what has priority. I promised God that He would be first. Many people know one way I keep myself accountable is to start with reading His Word each morning. I force myself not to check email or Facebook. This is a way to prove my loyalty is to the Lord not to what I am doing.

Prayer is a big indicator, too. I pray as I'm writing that the message will be clear. I pray when I submit a manuscript that this is the place to send it. I pray when I sign a contract that God will direct the editing. I pray as the release date gets closer that God will prepare those readers who need my book's message to be in a place to get the book.

I study my guiding verses for my ministry.

"Mortals make elaborate plans, but God has the last word. Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good; God probes for what is good. Put God in charge of your work, then what you've planned will take place." Proverbs 16:1-3

These verses remind me to put God in charge of my work, because He has the overall plan. I, in my humanness, will settle for what looks good. God wants to give me what He has purposed.

Can I share with you? God's ways will blow your mind. I can't believe that I signed a contract for my fourth book. I can't believe I will be teaching at a writing conference. And, right now, God has me writing a manuscript about four women who followed their own course but found no joy even though in the eyes of the world they are successful.

Precious reader, what has God called you to do? Don't be discouraged if everything hasn't panned out yet. Put God in charge and wait for His timing. Stay in His will. He will bring about His purpose in your life.
 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Raise Them Up In The Way They Should Go

Do you know that scripture that talks about raising up our children in the right way - God's way - and when they are grown, they will not depart from it?

Through twelve years of homeschooling my daughter, there were times when I wondered what in the world I had gotten myself into. The two of us are so much alike that we can definitely butt heads. But, through much prayer, God allowed us to find a way to homeschool successfully.

Now, my daughter has begun college through Liberty University Online. I'm proud of what she has accomplished so far during her first six weeks. It is a little strange not to be her teacher anymore, but I am happy to see the continuation of a Christian-based education.

I especially love to see her in action, passing on godly lessons to her Wednesday night choir groups and her Sunday school class. Her calling is to teach children about God and prepare them for a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. Her heart feels such an urgency to help parents train up their children in God's way.


Here she is teaching about the armor of God, specifically the belt of truth.


Here are all her kids with their belts.


Thank You, God, for the opportunity to educate my daughter in Your ways. May she never depart from it.



Monday, September 23, 2013

New Release from Clare Revell

Check out Clare's new release from Pelican Book Group.



Friday's Child is a man obsessed...

MI-5 agent Patrick Page is on the trail of a drug smuggler. He doesn't have time to revisit his past when he reconnects with the girl who got away--his girlfriend from college working at a library. He's more than surprised to see sweet Elle singing on stage when he slips into a nightclub to gain intel on the club's owner.  Why is she working two jobs? Why is she using an alias?  Is she somehow involved?  And is her involvement with his suspect merely a business relation or is there more to their partnership?

Elle has a secret she doesn't want Patrick to know. His daughter.  She'd turned custody over to her parents, but now she wants to be a mother not just a sister. But her own mother can't seem to let go neither has she forgiven Elle for her past.  So Elle works two jobs and supports them both. Her one light is her music. The career she abandoned, and her boss has promised to make her a star. But now with Patrick back in her life she's questioning her choices. And is he interested in her, or does he have some hidden agenda? Does Patrick have a secret too? 

extract:
Patrick turned his attention to the people gyrating on the dance floor. They were all so young, either that or he was showing his age. Enough of the old. You already had this conversation with yourself once today. He sipped his drink, the music reverberating within him. Glancing around, he spied a table to one side. Grabbing a handful of peanuts, he crossed over to it and sat down. Hopefully this Lisa would start singing soon, before the bass did serious damage to his ears.

He caught a glimpse of a woman making her way to the small stage. Her long white dress, split to mid-thigh, glowed in the blue lighting, her features and very feminine curves enhanced by it. Her brown hair hung almost to her waist. She looked older than the teens bopping to the latest dance hits on the floor. If he had to guess, he’d say around his age. What is this fascination with age? Sooner I am out of here the better.

The dance music stopped. As the woman sat on the stool near the center of the stage and picked up the guitar, Patrick’s heart stopped. Lisa Bellamy was none other than Eleanor Harrison, his former girlfriend and the dowdy librarian from earlier. Was she really as good as Liam said she was?
In which case, why was she a librarian? Something didn’t add up.

Wow, but she looks cute in that outfit. So much better than the librarian getup… Then he quickly caught himself. He was working and until proved otherwise, he had to assume that no one was above suspicion of wrong doing. 

This was the center of the operation. 

It was this bar that the drugs were coming in and out of, as well as the money. On the surface, things looked fine. The place turned a tidy profit, and nothing had come to light during the routine police and health and safety checks. All the employee checks as far as he knew were fine.
But the intel he’d received from Scotland pointed to something far deeper. And if Elle worked here, she could be involved. 

You can purchase your copy here:
http://pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=37_46&products_id=487&zenid=a14bfeb709558fa8425a264cffaaa759

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Happy Birthday to Prism Book Group!

This is a birthday party/blog hop - a kind of progressive dinner style soiree.



I am thrilled to be a part of the Prism family through being an author and an acquisitions editor.

I feel honored to be able to unveil the cover for Brave New Century for the first time right here on my blog. This book will release in November. My co-authors and I want to entice you to be on the look-out for this historical romance collection.


My next order of business is to share a cake recipe. This recipe is famous at my church, made and brought by Rebecca.

Rebecca's Chocolate Cake
2 c. plain flour             2 eggs, beaten
2 c. sugar                    1 c. water
1/2 c. oil                     1 stick butter
1 stick butter               4 T. cocoa
4 T. cocoa                  6 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla                1 box confectioners sugar
1 tsp. soda
1/2 c. buttermilk
Put flour and sugar in large mixer bowl. Begin to mix, with mixer. In small saucepan, bring 1 cup water, 4 T. cocoa, 1/2 cup oil to a boil. Pour over sugar and flour, continue mixing. Add vanilla, soda, buttermilk, eggs, mix well. Bake 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Icing: Bring 1 stick butter, 4 T. cocoa, 6 T. milk to a boil. Pour over confectioners sugar, mix well. Pour over cake.

This cake is a chocolate lover's delight!

Now for the gifts - what's a birthday party without gifts?
Enter to win a $100 gift card below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Follow the blog hop by starting with a link in the Link List.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

It's A Birthday Party!

Take a sneak peek at a birthday celebration. Just click the link below. Check back right here for more birthday fun this weekend!

http://prismbookgroup.com/blog/

Saturday, September 14, 2013

First Review for BE THE BLESSING

The first review has shown up for my release, BE THE BLESSING.

Thank you, Julie Arduini, for your review. If you've been trying to decide about purchasing the book, read this review for a little more information.

Please check it out at Julie's place at this link:

http://juliearduini.com/2013/09/14/book-review-blessing-paula-mowery/



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

BE THE BLESSING And Chocolate

Not sure I could have planned this if I tried, but my new release, BE THE BLESSING, comes out Friday which coincides with International Chocolate Day. Two of my favorite things - chocolate and a book.

Grab your favorite chocolate treat and settle in to read Addy's continuing story on your e-reader.



"We all wonder why bad things happen to good people. Can God use even the worst events in our lives to help us feed the world around us?Be the Blessing skillfully provides both food for thought and food for discussion." -- Lisa Wingate, national best-selling author of The Sea Glass Sisters and The Prayer Box.



Blurb: Addy Townsend hadn’t strolled with Conrad or had a vision in five years. Now Conrad has returned to challenge her to be a blessing to those around her. The Holy Spirit begins to nudge her into service in new ways and she follows.

But when she is blindsided with personal problems, can Addy learn to be a willing vessel even in times of struggle and suffering?

Find BE THE BLESSING at www.pelicanbookgroup.com or at other e-book sellers starting Friday, September 13th. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Wonderful Weirdos Day/Sept.9th

Do you love this special day? I mean really, who knew we had a day for those of us weird people?

As a Christian, however, I'm really commanded to be weird. Now, don't start writing me comments about the absence of the word weird in the Bible. I know the word doesn't appear there, but it could.

Read these scriptures:

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Romans 12:2a

"And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God." 1 Corinthians 6:11

"Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord." 2 Corinthians 6:17

The first scripture speaks of not conforming to this world. Thus, as Christians, we are to be different than what is the normally accepted behavior of the world. A word that is used in the definition of weird is eccentric. The meaning of this word? Deviating from a usual or accepted pattern.

The second verse comes after a long list of sins that are common to those who are not of the kingdom of God. The verse begins by stating that all of these things or sins were what we once were, but now we are saved through Jesus. Christians are to be sanctified which means made holy, made free from sin, or set apart to sacred use or duty. To be holy means to have a divine quality.

The third verse is prefaced by God's warning not to be linked with unbelievers. Christians are to be separate meaning to keep apart, disconnected, and detached. We come away from the world - totally detach from its ways.

Weird is defined as of strange or extraordinary character - unearthly.

Weirdo is a person who is extraordinarily strange or eccentric - oddball.

So, you tell me, Christian, should we be weirdoes? My verdict is yes.

Let's celebrate this day and be wonderful weirdos for Christ. Who's with me?

Monday, September 2, 2013

What Kind of Crowd Do You Run With?

This week in my One Year Bible as well as in my Sunday School study, Job has been the focal topic. I have often studied about this man's life from the perspective of suffering and God's presence in the midst. But, another thought came to my mind as I read through this story once again - the topic of friends.

When poor Job lost everything, three friends showed up. At first they just sat on the ash heap with him. But, when they started to speak their opinions, everything went sour. They didn't support him at all. They accused him of having done evil and prompted him to repent. These friends wouldn't listen when Job tried to explain that he had done nothing evil.

Have you been there? Have you experienced a trial only to have your friends be the first ones to blame or run away?

I believe we can learn a couple of lessons from Job's friends.

First, be careful when picking your friends. Your close friends should be Christians who are striving to be a godly influence in your life. They should build you up, not tear you down. They should want the best for you and exhibit a godly wisdom. They should never make you doubt God but point you to Him.

Second, be the kind of friend you want. In other words, you work to gain God's wisdom, so you can offer godly advice. Always think the best of your friends. Build them up. Never distract them from focusing on God.

Examine your crowd. Are you "running" with the right friends? Are you being a true Christian friend?

I remember my mamaw saying: "The trouble you meet is directly related to the company you keep." Food for thought.

Thank You, God for Christian friends. Help me be a good one.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

What do football and Christian fiction have in common?


The publisher of my book, The Blessing Seer, and my soon to be released title, Be The Blessing, is in a unique contest. If Pelican Book Group receives the most votes, it will win a commercial spot during the Super Bowl. Isn't that cool? An opportunity to advertise Christian fiction - something that could truly have a good influence on the audience. What a great way to spread Christ! 

Please click on the link below and support Christian fiction and a great Christian fiction publisher. The link will take you directly to the page where you can vote. As the release below says, you can vote daily.  

What do football and Christian fiction have in common? Not much, unless we get your help. Pelican Book Group is entered to win a commercial spot. We don't have a team of horses, a cute reptile, a hungry dog or a celebrity spokesman, but we have something better...You! Help PBG & Christian fiction get national exposure during football's Big Game. Vote daily. Pray often! http://intuit.me/158vfbh Thank you all.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Don't Ignore The Nudge

Have you ever felt a "nudge" to do something? You know what I mean - that little voice inside of you or that overwhelming feeling that you just must act.

For a Christian if we stay attuned to the Spirit within us, we will receive nudges.

One day I was particularly busy writing and revising some of my work, but I had this overwhelming feeling that I needed to email an author/friend. I could have ignored it, but I heeded the nudge. I wrote a simple note explaining that she was brought to my mind, and I was praying for her. She immediately responded, thanking me. At that moment she was really depressed over some circumstances in her life. She was able to get some things off her chest, and I was able to encourage her.

Now, what if I had ignored the nudge? I would have missed out on an opportunity to lift up a sister in Christ. I was humbled yet encouraged that God would use me in such a way.

"Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is."
Ephesians 5:15-17

The Spirit resides in us when we become a Christian - God's deposit in us. As the verse above says, we must live wisely. To do this we have to study God's Word and communicate with Him through prayer. We shouldn't just be satisfied knowing we are saved; we should discover the will of God for our lives. We have to make the most of every opportunity whether big or small to tell the lost about Christ and encourage our brothers and sisters who are Christians.

When we stay focused on Christ and pay attention to His Spirit within us, we may experience a nudge to act. We shouldn't ignore this opportunity to partner with God and what He is doing.

Have you experienced any God-nudges? Isn't it amazing that the God of the universe uses us to accomplish His purposes?

Just felt a nudge to share that with you today - wink.

Monday, August 19, 2013

All For His Glory

Do you sometimes go through the motions, thinking that what you are doing doesn't matter anyway? The enemy can pull us Christians down like that when he has the opportunity. Let's you and me take a different perspective.

"Every activity can be transformed into an act of worship when you do it for the praise, glory, and pleasure of God."
"How is it possible to do everything to the glory of God? By doing everything as if you were doing it for Jesus and by carrying on a continual conversation with him while you do it."
"Work becomes worship when you dedicate it to God and perform it with an awareness of his presence."
"Every human activity, except sin, can be done for God's pleasure if you do it with an attitude of praise."
The Purpose Driven Life

Do you realize that no matter what you are doing, you can bring a smile to God's face? That gives me goosebumps. To think that the God of the universe can find pleasure in me when I'm washing dishes or writing on my novel. During the tasks I just need to keep focused on Him through that open prayer line - stay aware that He is near to me.

Did you see the movie, Chariots of Fire? The main character announces that he could feel God's pleasure when he ran.

Have you experienced this? I have. When I get in the "writing zone," penning words that I often wonder where they came from, I get this feeling I can't describe. The only way to explain is to say that I am feeling the pleasure of God.

If you haven't dedicated your work to God, try it. Just for one day try to do your tasks whatever they may be for Him. Once you feel His pleasure, you'll want to bring Him more pleasure by always bringing Him glory in everything.

How have you felt God's pleasure?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I Want To Live Like That

Do you see others living for Christ and wonder what your problem is? 

I often have this very dilemma. I'm like Paul from the Bible - I know what I want to do, but I don't often do it. 

Being a Christian who truly lives for Christ and shows Him in my daily life is my ambition. But, there are times that I allow my busy life to get in the way. 

Here's a little motivation from my daughter. Please check out her article, complete with a song from Sidewalk Prophets. 

I want to live like that!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tuesday Teaser

Here's a little different teaser for you today complete with a book trailer to really whet your appetite!




United by a common mission, bonded by tragedy
 
The massacre of an unarmed South American village, destruction of one of the greatest manmade wonders of the world, and multiple museum thefts ignite a desperate scramble to locate a deadly group of terrorists. An international team led by the ruggedly handsome, but emotionally scarred CIA agent, Cash Luker, scours the globe in an attempt to keep ahead of those striving to bring thirteen mythical relics together. As Cash’s team closes in on those responsible for the devastation he must conquer past demons in order to save the woman who has captured his heart and prevent destruction of legendary proportions.
 
For behind-the-scenes trivia and updates, please follow Kim on twitter at https://twitter.com/kimmcmahill, and for information on her other adventure novels visit her website at http://kimmcmahill.com/ or blog at http://kimmcmahill.blogspot.com/.
 
Links:
 
 
 



Kim grew up in Wyoming, which is where she developed her sense of adventure and love of the outdoors. Since leaving Wyoming she has enjoyed many opportunities to see the world and has lived amid some of America’s most stunning landscapes. Kim started out writing non-fiction, but her passion for exotic world travel, outrageous adventures, stories of survival and happily-ever-after endings soon drew her into a world of romantic suspense. Along with writing adventure novels Kim has also published over eighty travel and geographic articles, and contributed to a travel anthology and cookbook.

 After a teaser like that, I'm adding this book to my to-be-read list immediately!

 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Book Lover's Day

Friday, August 9th, is Book Lover's Day.

This is my kind of day. I can't remember a time that I didn't love books.

My first reads were Little House on the Prairie and Trixie Beldon. Then, I graduated into Christian fiction, mostly romance. Now I've found any number of Christian fiction favs from mysteries to thrillers and even historicals.

All you Christian authors out there just fueled my need to write Christian fiction. I won't deny the sheer delight for this book lover to hold my own published book.


I absolutely love penning and reading about the hope found in Jesus Christ. It is amazing how God has gifted each Christian author with their own voice and style to get out the message He has just for them to proclaim. I'm humbled that He would use me to write His words. I'm thankful for all my fellow Christian writers for allowing God to guide you to minister through your books.

Celebrate Book Lover's Day with me, not just on Friday, but everyday. Pick up a good Christian book and be blessed.

For me, the perfect Book Lover's Day would be for me to lounge in my hammock on my screened-in porch, Diet Dr. Pepper near, and my latest novel in hand.

What about you? Let's have some fun. Post a comment telling what your Book Lover's Day would look like.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Whole Story

Did you grow up going to Sunday school? I did. I can still see those block walls painted green, and the little tables and chairs. My teachers would hang up those little posters that came with the literature. We would listen as a Bible story was told.

Even as an adult going to Sunday school, we would focus on certain stories in the Bible and maybe discuss what applications we could glean for our own lives.

This past Sunday, I attended a Sunday school class which for the next eight weeks will focus on the story of the Bible. Did you catch the difference?

Yes, there are stories we read in the Bible like David and Goliath or Jonah and the big fish. But, have you ever taken the perspective that the Bible is one whole story all pointing to Jesus?

"And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself." Luke 24:27

The "he" in the above verse refers to Jesus. The context of this verse is actually after the death and resurrection of Jesus. He shows up as two of his followers are strolling to a nearby town. They are discussing what has happened, totally confused as to the meaning of it all. Then Jesus proceeds to explain the whole story.

I needed a reminder that the Bible isn't just a collection of stories. All of the stories fit together to tell one big story. God loves me and wants a relationship with me. Because I couldn't save myself, God made a way through Jesus.

As I've begun to read with this new perspective, the story of the Bible and what God has done for me becomes even more amazing.

When you read your Bible today, look for the underlying theme. How can you see Jesus in that passage? What is God trying to get across to you in those verses? Let me know your thoughts and discoveries in the comments.

Thank You, God, for giving us Your whole story.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Where God Finds You

If you should be in the market for a great devotional book for your quiet time, check out Anita Higman's, Where God Finds You.



Anita combines her fiction writing skill by bringing Biblical characters such as Jonah, Noah's wife, and Hannah to life.

Bill Myers says: "A wonderful devotional, capturing  the truth and poignancy of how Biblical characters clearly speak to our busy, twenty-first century lives."

Anita offers a sample download of this book at her website. Check it out. You won't be sorry.

Anita's Website

Monday, July 29, 2013

Keep a Short Rope

Many of you know I have often commented on and quoted from the little book, Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young. This morning, once again, her words were so penetrating and insightful.

"An anchor on a short rope lets a boat drift only slightly before the taut line tugs the boat back toward the center. Similarly, as you drift away from Me, My Spirit within you gives a tug, prompting you to return to Me. As you become increasingly attuned to My Presence, the length of rope on your soul's Anchor is shortened."

As Christians we are to be focused upon Jesus, but there are so many things that can cause our minds to wander off. We can get wrapped up in another person, crowding Christ out of the central position. We can focus upon ourselves and what we want to accomplish.

The key to truly centering our lives in Christ, is to practice His Presence - always bring our focus back around to Him and His will. What is our goal in this life anyway? To become more like Jesus everyday.

I can remember being out in a little fishing boat on the lake with my father and brother when a storm started to blow in. Because our small vessel didn't have an anchor, we headed for the shore so as not to be tossed around by the wind and waves. We jumped out as the rain began to pellet us and entered the shelter of a covered pavilion with a concrete foundation. We sat there in the safety until the storm had passed.

Similarly, I have gotten caught trying to do something my way, ignoring God's direction. Just before the big flop, I've returned to the stability of His Presence, realizing my foolishness in trying to venture out on my own. I've learned each time I've strayed to become more attuned to the Spirit's nudging so I don't drift too far away.

How about it, Christian? Will you strive to keep a short rope on your soul's Anchor?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

OVER-THE-TOP GOD

Please click the link below to visit a group devotion blog that I am appearing on today. Thank you, Linda Rondeau for including me in this venture.

Now, let's talk about getting out of the blahs -

http://fullflavoredliving.blogspot.com/

Monday, July 22, 2013

Tuesday Teaser

Here's a new one from Brandilyn Collins. If you read novels by her, you might be surprised by this story which doesn't have the usual suspense. I joked that maybe she did some of her research for this Southern family at my house.

Here's your teaser quote:
A "quiet" gal, he'd told Ruth and Sy. "Kinda reserved." In other words, everything the Dearing family was not. To put it mildly. Ho boy.



 Meet the Dearings, a crazy, loving, boisterous family in small-town Mississippi. There’s mom and dad, three daughters and their families, and the youngest—twenty-five-year-old Ben. Oh, and the family dog, a Yorkie who thinks she’s royalty.

“This one’s perfect,” Ben says about his new fiancĂ©e, Christina, when he brings her home for a family reunion. Ben is just sure everyone will love Christina, and she’ll fit right in.

He always did tend to wear rose-colored glasses.

Christina loves Ben but secretly fears their relationship will never work. They’ve only known each other ten weeks. She hasn’t told him about her horrific past as an only child—the beatings, the neglect, and verbal abuse. Christina doesn’t know how to trust or be honest about her feelings. Being thrust into the middle of a tight-knit family like the Dearings is sure to send her over the edge.

With poignancy and humor, That Dog Won’t Hunt explores the complexities of relationships and the inner strength needed to overcome a difficult childhood. The Dearings are no perfect family, but they know how to love—if only Christina will accept it.

Brandilyn Collins is a best-selling novelist of over 25 books. Her awards include the ACFW Carol (three times), Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice. Brandilyn is also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors. Visit her website at www.brandilyncollins.com.


Get your Southern on and add this one to your to-be-read list. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Lord, Steady My Heart

Need to share a song whose lyrics have been running through my mind and coming to my lips. I hope it will encourage you today. Thanks Kari Jobe for this great song.

Just press the link for the song below. Let it minister to you today and maybe even challenge you as it has me to not worry, knowing God holds you in the palm of His hand.

Steady My Heart


Monday, July 15, 2013

I Gotcha Back!

Most of my readers know that as a part of my quiet time I read from the One Year Bible. Once again the Spirit made a passage stand out for me.

"When Joab saw that he would have to fight on both the front and the rear, he chose some of Israel's elite troops and placed them under his personal command to fight the Arameans in the fields. He left the rest of the army under the command of his brother Abishai, who was to attack the Ammonites. 'If the Arameans are too strong for me, then come over and help me,' Joab told his brother. 'And if the Ammonites are too strong for you, I will help you. Be courageous! Let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. May the Lord's will be done.'" 1 Chronicles 19:10-13

Isn't this just what the soldiers of the Lord should do?

We Christians so often go off in pursuit of our pet projects and ignore the needs for help from others around us. Then we wonder why our efforts fail to make a difference.

As the body of Christ, we are to work together to accomplish God's will. We are on the same team.

Would you expect a football team to win if there were only two players against a full team? No.

Paul talks about this unity in Christ and being one body often in the New Testament. The idea is to bring your God-given gifts into the body and together He can cause us to accomplish what He wants.

So, how about it? You got my back? I've got yours!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July 11th - Cheer Up The Lonely Day

Admittedly, I've never heard of this day. But, sounds very much like a Jesus-like thing to do.

When Jesus was on this earth, he was most likely found among the lonely. These were the diseased and crippled who others shunned. He healed the blind and told the lame to get up and walk. He even touched the most lonely of all - the leper.

"But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds - his name is the Lord - and rejoice before him."
Psalm 68:3-4

How can the Psalmist ask that we rejoice when we are diseased, crippled, left-out, and lonely?

"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, ..." Psalm 68:5-6a

This is why we can rejoice and praise God. He is near to the lonely. He even sets them in families. Guess who that family is? Me and you. Other Christians having been made brothers and sisters in Christ.

We have the promise that we are never alone for we have God ever-present and near to us. But, in our striving to become more and more like Christ, we must cheer the lonely. We are to show love and care for our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Christ was sensitive to those who needed a touch. Let's follow His example and be sensitive to those around us who might need cheering through Christ's love flowing through us.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Since Last Birthday

July 8th is my birthday, and I spent a few moments thinking back to what all God has allowed me to do and experience in the last couple of years.

Last June, I traveled to Haiti for a mission trip which I will never forget.



 My first book released on July 6th - THE BLESSING SEER.


But, my father had to have heart surgery which was a shock to us all. Thank God for keeping him safe while on a fishing trip in the wild. No heart attack - doc got him fixed up and ready to go.


God also allowed me opportunities to speak about the message of THE BLESSING SEER.


Still humbled and delighted that God has blessed me in so many ways.

You overwhelm me God. Please continue to lead me on this adventure.

"In all ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path." (Mamaw Lindsey was right.)